Booze: An Awesomely No-Good Nutrient Zapper

By James Madeiros


How Alcohol Depletes Nutrients

It’s fun to argue the healthful merits of alcohol, but the cold, frosty truth is that it has no nutritional value whatsoever. Even more to the point, though, is that it actually depletes the body’s essential vitamins and nutrients.

The reason this happens is because alcohol has a habit of inhibiting the breakdown, absorption and use of vitamins in the body by reducing available digestive enzymes. This can occur with all nutrients, but B vitamins, magnesium and potassium are particularly susceptible to the effects when alcohol prevents the liver from supplying these nutrients. They are then taken from the blood, which in turn can trigger serious problems.

Just a few of those problems include liver disease, Werneke-Korsakoff syndrome and neuropathy, as well as less serious issues like headaches, body aches, depression and reduced cognitive ability. Of course, severity is a relative concept and it should be taken as a matter of course that all of these effects can cause a good deal of misery.

It also doesn’t help that alcohol is a toxin and your body expends energy and nutrients to process and dispose of it. The fact that alcohol itself delivers energy is of no consequence, because it never gives as good as it gets – at least in terms of nutrition.

Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).

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